I've been lurking here a lately and learning a ton. I'm just getting back into credit after "living off the grid" for a while. After not using credit very wisely in my twenties, I cleared up any bad debt and then just decided to avoid having any credit at all. Twenty years later, I've decided that was a pretty drastic overreaction, and not such a smart one at that.
Until very recently, I haven't had anything on my credit report since I paid off my home equity loan after selling my house in 2005. I always paid that on time. I'm not planning on making any major purchases for the next year or two, but would like some advice for the best way to start building a solid history. I started out with a secured card for 1.000 at my bank in June, and then decided to have a look at my credit report, and was pretty surprised to see that my EQ FICO (from myFICO)was 789. Last week, I did a little research and chose two cards that seemed to make sense to me. I applied online and was instantly approved for 3.000 on each. My SW now has my EQ at 757.
I realize I'll take a hit the AAoA (from the old loan), and from some hard pulls in the short term, but does it make sense to app for anything else at this point? Not sure if I should be doing a little more hunting before entering the garden. My game plan is to PIF every month, and keep the usage at or below 9%.
I'd really appreciate any guidance from this very knowledgeable group!
2002 - 2005 - 20,000 HE line (closed when house was sold, no negs)
6/12 - Wells Fargo Visa - 1,000 secured
8/12 - Chase Freedom - 3,000
8/12 - Citi Thank You - 3,000
2 hard pulls (8/12 - for new cards above)
Annual gross income - 50,000
Have you looked into an AMEX charge/revolver card? AMEX is an awesome CCC to be with and have plenty of choices in cards. You could go ahead and get in with them and it will lead to an awesome future relationship.
+1 Definitely app for Amex. Also, if you did happen to have an Amex account in your past, you might be able to get backdated to the year you originally established card membership. That could be a tremendous benefit in terms of AAoA.
I did have one, probably back in 1989 or 90 when I was at my most irresponsible. It ended up being a charge-off, so I'm a little afraid of reminding them that I used to be an idiot. I've heard they have blacklists. Valid concern?
Yes and no. Some people who have had charge offs have been approved (some back dated and some not). However, if you are blacklisted, they wont even pull your CR to begin with so its worth at least seeing if you can app!
Edit: I type too slowly
FWIW I would apply. It's worth even a possible inquiry to find out where you stand with Amex. They may care, they may not, but looking at your current lineup there's a non-zero chance they're going to want to compete for your business. From your description, if I were a lender, I would, and one of Amex's main competitors right now is Chase.
Even at worst case, if you do get an inquiry and a denial, so what? You've already made a number of apps, one more isn't going to break you, and it's gone in a year anyway and for re-establishing credit you're going to want to just relax with what you got for a while post that possible Amex application anyway.
Okay, y'all tipped the scale for me, and admittedly I was already pretty interested in trying it. I took a leap and applied just now. Not approved for the standard Zync (boo!), but I took the option of the $500 limit with auto-pay. Figured it was better than nothing, and at least I've got my foot in the door now.
Time to head to the garden now, I think.
Thanks all for your input - this is a great community.
+1000 on AMEX. BUT, go to their preapproval site and see if you have anything there first. Is the CO a paid CO? From what I have seen on the forum those are the ones most likely to be forgiven.
I did the same thing you did - no CC's for ten years other than a Gov't travel card that does not report to my CR. I started off with Orchard because I thought I could do no better. I bank with WF and app'd with them and got a decent limit. In two years you see where I am in my siggy, not to mention the house of our dreams this past June at 3.75%.
I started with an AMEX gold charge card. After about a year I app'd and got the card I wanted - Delta Gold Skymiles with a $2K limit. 61 days later it was $6K. Six months later $18K and now $25K. Great company!